5 Tech Stocks to Buy for 2013: Astro-Med

Tickers in this article: CASS JKHY MMS ALOT MLAB

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings ) -- TheStreet Ratings' stock model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Our Buy, Hold or Sell ratings designate how we expect these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.

TheStreet Ratings model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.

These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel -- rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.

The following pages contain our analysis of 5 out of 50 stocks TheStreet Ratings has identified as being rated a "Buy" heading into the New Year. To view a list of all 50 stocks simply download our FREE report by clicking: HERE

MAXIMUS, Inc (MMS"> MMS) is rated at BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub-par growth in net income.

To view a list of all 50 stocks simply download our FREE report by clicking: HERE

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • MAXIMUS INC's earnings per share declined by 6.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MAXIMUS INC reported lower earnings of $2.19 versus $2.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.99 versus $2.19).
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MMS's share price has jumped by 50.63%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $30.10 million or 9.60% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.61%.
  • MMS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, MMS has a quick ratio of 1.93, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.